Our cruise was a 6 night reposition calling in Bermuda, St Thomas and disembarking is San Juan PR.
We have sailed on Celebrity many times, and have never been disappointed with the food or service, however, from the moment we boarded, the warmth and hospitality of the entire staff overwhelmed us. Everyone who works on the Summit takes great pride in delivering great service, from our cabin steward Bizuki, who fulfilled our requests with speed and to our utmost satisfaction, to our waiter Alfredo in the MDR and Abdullah in the buffet cafe who welcomed us warmly on first day and inquiring about our cruise experience each time we saw him, bringing our tea and coffee, carrying our trays, (yes, we had trays)! The pool bar staff who were always available and happy to deliver my Pellegrino water in an ice bucket- the service on this ship was flawless! Everywhere we went we were greeted with a smile by all.
Food on the ship is still very good, true, there have been cutbacks, but this is the case on all ships I've taken in the past 5 years on all shipping lines, and Celebrity still leads with quality provisions, selection and presentation. I especially like the second sea day brunch, it's a great replacement to the now extinct midnight buffet. Realistically it is a much better time of day to overindulge on such delicacies, you can then skip lunch, if you wish, and be hungry enough for a great dinner.
On this trip, we were part of a cruise critic board of 90+guests, (all cruising independently)
and Celebrity hosted a connection party for us, even though the official rule is to give this party on 7 night or longer trips. This went well above and beyond my expectations.
On that note, a special thank you to Lise Blackman the Summit's events coordinator who met with a few of our group upon embarkation to arrange this party, she took a list of all the cabin#s, and sent written invitations to all our cabins for the party which was held the very next morning.
When we arrived at the party she was there along with the entertainment director to greet our guests. Shortly after the Captain arrived to welcome us and he invited everyone to a bridge tour scheduled for our last sea day. Again, we all received invitations in our cabins. So many of us decided to go that we were split into 2 groups. The bridge tour was something I've always wanted to do, but could never seem to make happen, and so I'm very grateful to have had this opportunity.
We had sunny days and warm nights the whole trip, and since we have been to the 3 ports of call numerous times, we enjoyed taking in the sights on our own without tours from the ship. The Ferry in Bermuda is punctual and runs continuously and for 12 dollars you can have a full day pass that includes the buses as well. Once you ferry to Hamilton, the bus station is only a few blocks away. From there you can get around to the beaches by bus. We chose to go to Horseshoe Bay, which was not crowded as it is the end of the season there.
Likewise, in St Thomas, we took public transport to Meagan's Bay just to relax and swim all day-perfect.
However, I found the shopping in town not what it once was, maybe because there is an extensive shopping complex right at the pier, or perhaps it was a seasonal issue. Hard for me to say for sure.
A note about San Juan, if you dock at the old pier, you are only 1 block from the bus terminal, so if you have already seen the Old Town of SJ, you can get a bus to the Condado Beach for 50 cents each way. A cab will run 14 bucks. The buses are clean, run continually, and are far more interesting, in my opinion.
The Summit is due for renovations, wear is evident. I hope to have the pleasure to sail the Summit again after she is "Solsticized".